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PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango


Well f*** me raw if I didn't go and get myself sick! Not only was a expelling liquid from all of my orifices but I managed to get fluid in my lungs too. Some would say it's bad luck, I call it a gift in disguise. Why? Because I'm too peppy for my own damn good that's why.   

Now back to work it appears, next week will be fun and games and clients calling me a "little shit." Ah, the good life. Anyway, now for the long long long overdue PS+ Games of the Month blog that was meant to go up two weeks ago. Better late than never, especially as I really enjoy writing these pieces mainly because nobody else appears to be doing it on Destructoid. 
Well, I say that I "write" them, it's more like I take other peoples work and combine it with my own. 

You call it lazy... I call it journalism, because I'm condescending. 
I also tell the truth. 

I'll be including the names of the reviewers this time around too (something that was asked for last time), so if you disagree with something you know who to mock for it. 

 Dragon Age: Origins 

Reviewed by: Solar Pony Django

Summary: Dragon Age: Origins is a third-person role-playing-game that puts the player in control of a character that can be played as a warrior, mage or rogue, with the playable character and the companions met throughout the  game all come from a variety of backgrounds. Set in a fictional kingdom, the many races from the region unite to fight back the demonic hordes that threaten to dominate the land. 

A Gamer's View: Here for the Origins review? Good. 
I found the gameplay to be pretty dull. In the beginning, the gameplay is bearable, not great but bearable, but Bioware decides to make the same mistake that most developers make and throws tonnes of enemies at the screen the higher level you are. Fighting these enemies becomes an absolute cluster f**k since they heavily involve melee attacks, and you can barely see what is going on. Typically, in combat, you’ll burn all your skills, wait to recharge, and then focus on regular attacks. Not a very conducive way to fight tactically or logically at all. 

Feels less like slicing through enemies and more like headbutting a wall.
I also felt that the characters in Origins were almost instantly forgettable. I only managed to remember a handful of characters names, including Alistair, your Dog (because who doesn’t love a good doggy? Who’s a good dog? You are!) and Morrigan. 
Alistair was the most memorable character  out of the lot just because of the jokes he would crack, adding some humour that the rest of the game sorely lacks, which made him feel the most alive out of the cast. He comments on situations and offers his own impressions on certain events and battles that occur throughout the game. 
I didn’t particularly care for Morrigan so I chose not to include her in the party. I have vague recollections of the rest of the characters, but nothing that ever made me truly interested in them.
Leliana’s backstory is interesting, or at least what you can get her to tell you, but on adventure’s she’s silent. You kind of forget that she’s there since she doesn’t have much input, making her character just an extra body to attack with. 
Most of the party feels that way, sadly. 

Don’t even get me started on the story. Like the characters, I found the story to be bland mainly because of the codex. 
In the codex, they shove all the details in there which forces you to read it in order to gain a better understanding of the overarching story. Typically, I appreciate the codex as a way of expanding the story, in Origins, I felt like it was lazy writing. It’s kind of similar concept to Destiny I suppose, the information is all there it’s just not presented in a way that makes sense or easy to find. 
Most games will deliver the story to you, not have you search for the story yourself.

Who Would Enjoy This?: To me, the game is very "middle-of-the-road" and I probably won't ever complete the whole thing. I'd recommend it to people who want a good time sink because really your own free-time is all you have to lose if you start to play this game. Who knows? You might actually enjoy it. I certainly didn't. 

Medal of Honor: Warfighter 

Reviewed by: GajKnight 

Summary: Sequel to the 2010 reboot of the Medal of Honor series, Medal of Honor: Warfighter is a first-person shooter game picking up where its predecessor left off as it follows Tier 1 operators on their mission to track down terrorists around the globe.  

A Gamer's View: It’s called Warfighter. Seriously. 5/10, review over… Okay, I’ll write the thing. 
But still, "Warfighter". I don’t care if it is actually a legitimate term used in the military, it still sounds utterly ridiculous. Let's call the sequel "Gunshooter." 

So, Warfighter’s campaign. There is not much to write about, as I beat it on the hardest difficulty in just 4-5 hours. I would love to say that it was a short but sweet experience (like Dreamweaver’s fun stick) but I honestly can barely remember it. Think about every sequence in every military shooter you’ve ever played and that would be Warfighter’s campaign.
It wants to replicate Call of Duty without calling itself Call of Duty. Apparently, the game was even made with the help of experienced Navy Seals and is respectful of the hardships and struggle of war. 
Yeah…it’s not. It’s as over the top, crazy set-piece based as you expect. 

That all being said, the actual feel of shooting a gun is great. Movement is solid and it’s never a chore to actually play, but slogging through corridors of enemies, reaching a cutscene then slogging through more corridors of enemies gets old fast, especially worrying considering how short the story is. 
Graphically, it's pretty great for a 2012 game. The sound design and mixing is fine I guess, not good or bad just very average, which is perfectly in-keeping with the rest of the game.

It’s worth playing the campaign if you love military shooters but even then, you may be bored before the end.
As for the multiplayer, it seems fine. I managed to join a match but it took a bit of time, since, you know, 3 year old game and all. The loadouts are fixed to a specific set of weapons which, honestly, doesn’t bother me at all. Makes it more about skill than who can use the broken guns better than you. 
But, like the campaign, it’s all very familiar. Team-Deathmatch, objective based mode, etc etc. You’ve seen it before countless times. Again, if you love your COD and want some more, this’ll scratch that itch for a while.

Who Would Enjoy This?: Overall, it’s all very meh, so really it's only worth playing if you’ve nothing else, otherwise just leave it off of your download list. I can't recommend this game to anyone if I'm honest. 

Grim Fandango 

Reviewed by: TheLimoMaker

Summary: Grim Fandango is a 'point-and-click' adventure game, taking place in the Underworld. Here, the player controls 'Manny' Calavera, a travel agent located in the Underworld, as he tries to save a newly arrived soul and unravel a corruption scandal in the land of the dead. 

A Gamer's View: I had never played Grim Fandango until I had to do this review so I went in blind, not knowing whether it would hold up to today's adventure game standards (the likes of The Walking Dead, Life is Strange and Until Dawn have really set my standards high for the adventure-game genre). 
I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did however. 

The characters are all memorable, with Olivia, Hector, Manny, Glottis and the rest all sticking in my mind hours after I played the game, thanks in no small part to both the excellent dialogue. 
Every line has that 'Schaeffer' wit that I loved in Broken Age, making you care about these characters because, despite their exaggerated surroundings and fantastical adventures, they feel real. Their aspirations and plans are all laid bare for the character or discovered over time as their personal progression occurs in front of your eyes, against the back-drop of a beautifully rendered Underworld setting. 

The use of colours and the Aztec-inspired art style are fantastic, looking like no other game I have ever played and probably will ever play. There is something wonderful to be said here about the lack of "cutting-edge" graphics but an excellent use of the artists imagination and a wonderful colour scheme. 
Give me something that looks like this over photo-realism any day. 

I do have but one flaw with this otherwise superb game, and that is the obtuse puzzles. Now, I'm all for difficulty in my games, some of my favourite games ever are difficult games that are grueling and sometimes rage-inducing. 
But some of the puzzles presented in Grim Fandango left me feeling bored and tired more than puzzled. I ended up lucking out on a few of them while others I just simply could not figure out, quit the game and played something not yawn-inducing for an hour or so.
I didn't feel "beaten" merely cheated, because some of the ways you solve said puzzles feel less like skill and more like luck, not something I enjoy in my puzzle games. 

Who Would Enjoy This?: I absolutely recommend that everyone give this game a try. Yes, its puzzles are silly sometimes and their difficulty spikes randomly, but honestly the characters and  story are worth experiencing. 
Hell (hah, puns), even if you don't want to play the game yourself, at least watch a Let's Play of the thing, because it needs to be seen to be believed. 


Reviewed by: GajKnight 

Summary: You play as 'Born' as you follow him on his adventure to escape from the curse laid upon him. 
(Honestly, that's all you can really say about this game without spoiling anything). 

A Gamer's View: Existentialism is a fascinating theme that has been the basis of some of my favourite pieces of media, such as Lovecraft and NGE. So getting to play Nihilumbra was exciting, as it’s existential to the extreme!

You play as a dark blob, which becomes a vaguely humanoid blob later, that runs from ‘The Void’ and has to navigate basic puzzles to do so. All the while, a narrator will talk about various things. 
The narrator is fine. Sometimes his quiet narration really adds to the mood and his bored dismissal of your existence can be chilling. Other times, he veers far too much into pretentious and cringe-worthy territory, trying to act like the game is an art-piece and not an interactive experience. 
For instance, at the very beginning, a piece of text states ‘This is not a game’. Subtle.

Gameplay consists of using colours to affect the world around you by using the touchscreen. Yes, there are touch controls and they actually work very well. God you're such a little worry wart. 
In fact, the gameplay itself is pretty sound, especially noticeable as I felt that all mistakes were my fault, not the games. 
The colour Blue creates a slippery surface and increases your momentum for jumps, Green makes surfaces bouncy, etc. It’s very simple to understand and can become complex later, though the main game won’t test your skill much. 
The Void challenges though…  Those are for real. You'll hate life. 

Visually the game looks lovely though basic, betraying its mobile roots. The mixture of colour really helps engage you in this world, preventing it from becoming a bleak mess of black, however the use of colour never causes the tone of the game to shift to something peppy and cheery.

Who Would Enjoy This?: I finished my existential journey within an afternoon and came out if it mildly depressed and contemplatively of my infinitesimal and utterly unimportant role in the vast and uncaring universe. 
So, I’d say the game did its job well!
Fully recommended to people who like that sort of stuff, I would not recommend it for the easily depressed or those who hate narrators who say pretentious things.   
And as you got play this just remember: You. Are. Nothing.

Thanks for reading this despite the fact that it's three weeks late. Gonna have to do the February edition in the space of a week now, but hey ho, not like I haven't done something premature before. 

Hah. It's a dick joke. 

I'm so lonely. 

- Make Tea. Eat Crumpets. Play Games.

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About TheLimoMakerone of us since 6:59 AM on 03.25.2015

'Sup fools, it's me, ya basic British boy.

Been on Destructoid for five years and counting now, but have been reading for this wholesome site since November 2010.

The community has welcomed me despite being as cynical as one can get, and for that I will always be grateful.
Despite my seemingly hard front, I'm a softie at heart and will always give you the time of day, whether it be on Destructoid, Discord or if I'm fortunate enough to be carried by you in an online game.

Story-driven games are my forte, along with horror games, RPG's and FPS games.
To be honest, I'm someone who will play absolutely anything I can get my hands on; I believe you can find excellent games in the strangest of places.

Also decided to add my Games of the Year from years past, just because I can't really place my thoughts elsewhere:

2010 - Nier

2011 - Portal 2

2012 - Spec-Ops: The Line

2013 - The Last of Us

2014 - Valiant Hearts

2015 - Undertale

2016 - Oxenfree

2017 - Persona 5: The Royal

2018 - Return of the Obra Dinn

2019 - Disco Elysium